According to Axios, the US and Israel held covert meetings last week about a possible “plan B” in the event that Iran does not return to nuclear talks.
The discussion, headed by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata, apparently took place via a secure video conference call.
The US intends to put new sanctions on Iran if negotiations do not begin soon, an Israeli official told Axios, indicating that both Israel and the US are concerned about the present impasse.
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According to the Walla report, the secure video meeting was the first time since Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the new Israeli administration took office in June that a special bilateral strategic group aimed at coordinating on stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon has occurred.
Israeli officials allegedly advocated for moving on with alternate plans in light of the stalled nuclear talks, believing Iran is attempting to prolong the process by developing its nuclear program.
According to an Israeli official quoted in the paper, the US’s primary message was that unless nuclear talks resumed soon, the Biden administration would put additional sanctions on Iran. Already in place US sanctions have wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy, collapsing the rial currency, though Tehran has remained defiant in the face of the onslaught.
The revelation comes as Iranian and European sources indicated that negotiations in Vienna are likely to restart soon.